Is this the best Toshiba could come up with to keep their HD DVD next-generation high-definition DVD standard alive?

Movie studios seem to be running away from HD DVD faster than the speed of light as the competing Blu-ray technology developed by Sony and others gathers support. How does Toshiba respond? It puts out a press release Oct. 13 announcing it will demonstrate the technology for the first time to U.S. consumers at Bjorn's "flagship" Audio-Video store in San Antonio, Texas.

Never mind that a quick look at Bjorn's website shows the company has only ONE store. Or the fact that San Antonio definitely ain't the high-tech capital of the country. Demonstrations (presumably daily, though the press release doesn't say when they start, or how long they will last) will occur at least three times over at least one day.

Before we officially call this a very lame p.r. trick to gain publicity, we should note Toshiba promises this is just the first in a series of HD DVD demonstrations that will happen around the country. Maybe you'll get to see HD DVD in some place you actually shop, like Best Buy or Tweeter. Heck, I'd even take Target or Wal-Mart.

Execs from Blu-ray and HD DVD are still meeting behind closed doors to come up with a compromise by the end of the year to prevent both technologies from rolling out to consumers. Clearly, Toshiba would like to generate some buzz about its standard so it is not the weakest kid at the party. But this particular negotiating ploy fools no one.

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